Tenants legal help
As the value of money keeps going down and the cost of things keeps going up, your landlord is at some stage going to want to increase your rent.
That’s understandable, but if you have just received a letter from your landlord setting out a whopping big increase, your first thought (or maybe your second) is going to be “Can he do this?” The answer will depend on how he does it.
- If you have been in the property a long time and have a fair rent registered, the answer will be ‘No’. Rent increases can only be set by the Rent Service.
- If you have an assured shorthold tenancy, your fixed term is ending and your landlord wants you to sign a new tenancy agreement at a new rental, the answer is ‘probably’. Because if you don’t sign, your landlord can end your tenancy, and (eventually) evict you.
- If your tenancy agreement has a rent review clause AND the landlord is following the procedure in the clause, then the answer will be ‘yes’. Always assuming the clause is not void under the Unfair Contract Terms Regulations.
- If your AST fixed term has ended, and your landlord has served a properly drafted notice of rent increase on you, the answer is ‘yes’ unless the new rent is higher than the market rent value for your property AND you apply to the Rent Assessment Committee for the decision to be reviewed within the one month time limit.
- However if you are at the start or part way through your tenancy fixed term, there is no rent review clause, and your landlord has just sent you a letter saying your rent is going up, the answer is ‘no’! You can write to him saying you won’t be paying the increase as it is invalid, and suggest he take legal advice. However beware – if you start paying the new rent, you may be deemed to have accepted it, and will then be bound by the increase. So if you don’t agree with it – don’t pay!
Have you experienced problems with your landlord trying to increase your rent when they are not entitled to? Do you have any tips for readers?
See more help for tenants on Tenant Law.
Are you a landlord? If so you may be interested in >> this page.